Painting Birches with Dassel Elementary Students

Oct. 2014
We had a great time with about 75 Dassel Elementary fourth graders in an Art Adventure set up by the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
This program introduces students to classic works of art in the MIA through posters that we have been trained to discuss and present by docents at the Institute, and my exciting contribution was leading these students through painting an Impressionistic painting of Minnesota Birches. I was impressed by the perceptive observations of the students, and SO PLEASED with their paintings!
I think one of the most important beliefs we can impart to children is that they are ALL artists! Unfortunately too often children can get a subtle message that their art isn’t that “good”, and then believe that they are not artistic. This belief then follows them all their life, and it is FALSE!

As an artist, I have seen so many different kinds of art, and ways artists express themselves, and “Art Rules” that have been successfully broken (to smithereens, sometimes!) that unless something has had absolutely no emotion or thought put into it, I see value in it. I put emotion first because art is all about emotion, and technique, in my humble opinion, come a distant second, or third, or somewhere down the line.
That is why is was so satisfying to me to work with these students at an age where they can reinforce their image of themselves as artists.
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